Sunday, October 23, 2005

Did someone turn the heat up?

My sort of colleague Mark (also a decent runner, as well as an impressive climate scientist) has stood up many times and predicted, well before the fact, that recent tropical storm seasons would have significantly above average activity. His group is using this sort of knowledge to improve understanding of property risk in those areas of the globe (insurance companies take note, premium payers take it in the wallet). Back at pub level, I muse that the remaining inhabitants of such areas will either be those too poor to brush up their CV's and shift North, or those sun and fun-seekers (like M's uncle apparently) who are loaded enough not to be bothered with insurance.

Over at Interconnected, there's a curious post about Northern latitudes opening up as the ice recedes, I quote his sources all jumbled together, like glacial rubble:
a new northern culture, connected by open ocean, global warming, and a different kind of aesthetic ... exempt the North from the traditional territorial discourses based on power, history and identity, placing it in a deterritorialized post-national paradigm in which spaces are increasingly imagined and communicated. The North emerges as one of the so-called "meso-regions", i.e. less determined by geography than by ideas, symbols, visions or strategic instruments, all aimed at mobilizing resources ...
I can't really see us being not determined by geography very soon, unless those people of JET/ITER etc get cracking and grant us all with free energy for life, but something about the optimistic tone of these essays reminds me of Iain M. Banks's dazzling energy-rich Cultures, who think of a planet as a small space and sculpt awesome artful living spaces with real style.

Try this Iain Banks "Culture" novel, Excession

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